Islamaphobia has long plagued western societies. In light of recent events, Muslimahs like Boshia and Fatimat have had to reclaim their faith amidst a narrow-minded, xenophobic culture that is much too eager to attribute one rogue individual’s unforgivable actions onto an entire community. Divide-and-conquer tactics have been used by the elite class for centuries to leverage their power, and sadly the media’s fixation on Omar Mateen’s religious background is yet another example of this crude manipulation. Take two especially vulnerable demographics – LGBTQ individuals and Muslim Americans – and pit them against one another. Certainly it is much easier to demonize a group of people than to implement policy changes that will prevent a mentally unstable man on a terrorist watch list from acquiring a semi-automatic weapon in the first place.
Truth be told, this shoot with Boshia and Fatimat was planned long before the tragedy in Orlando. We simply wanted to coordinate a follow-up shoot to this portrait study depicting the quiet reverence of Muslim sisterhood. Indeed, the kinship between these two women was starkly evident from the moment we met up. Too often female friendships are wrought with nuances of jealousy and competition – these two, however, share a dignified relationship based on healing and intellectual curiosity. They are currently working hard to create a community space for Muslim women to come together and learn about natural remedies and healing techniques. Watch this space for further updates.